"Damn," Sarah replied. "One of the longest running ships, eh?"
Riker smiled again, a smile Sarah just noticed she rather enjoyed. "Yes. Her only rival is the very first Enterprise, which I believe lasted for some forty to fifty years."
"What became of the Dragon name?" she asked, curious as to whether or not it made enough of an impact in history or not.
"A second Dragon class had just finished construction when the Dragon was destroyed, and so was immediately commissioned as the Dragon-B," Riker said. "It was in one of the first skirmishes with the Borg before the Borg war, and was one of the first ships lost. However, an Excalibur class starship was named the Dragon-C."
"Damn, it did make an impact in history," she said quietly.
"Especially the Dragon-C," Riker said, raising his eyebrows. "In fact, it had made such an impact that it is still used as a test ship."
"Oh how wonderful," Sarah said sarcastically, disappointed. "The great USS Dragon is now expendable."
Riker smiled, looking at the ground for a moment. "Perhaps, but its helped us with several scientific breakthroughs on Transwarp and Slipstream propulsion. The only other Excalibur class left is the USS Paris, which is now a museum that is visited regularly."
"Poor Captain Rivers must be disappointed," she said, laughing.
"Oh, Admiral Rivers was indeed disappointed," Riker replied laughing. "Any way, as a matter of fact, the Dragon will have the first temporal displacement drive tested on it."
That suddenly caught her attention. She frowned and asked, "Temporal displacement?"
Riker nodded. "In other words, time travel. Every attempt at creating a device to allow us to travel through time has been unpredictable, including the Borg Temporal Vortex the Enterprise E traveled through over forty years ago. But this new technology uses the main deflector dish to create a temporal displacement field around the ship."
That was all she needed to know. Everything Riker began to tell her was irrelevant to her now. She now had the perfect opportunity She just couldnt let all of her friends die like that! And it wasnt fair that she survived and no one else did!
Then she realized, If Im going to steal the Dragon I should listen to Riker. It might give me enough insight to steal her
She began to pay attention to Rikers babble now. "Vendar Perkins cousin is also an Admiral," she heard him say. "In fact, she should be arriving later this morning. Shes curious as to how well her cousin performed on the Dragon."
"You look just like she did," Sarah told Admiral Kristine Scott, Vendar Perkins cousin. "Albeit older, but you still have that determined, intelligent look on your face."
"Thank you," Kristine replied, the cracks in her face deepening as she smiled. "Tell me, how did my cousin do?"
Sarah smiled as she remembered one of her best friends and shipmate. "You might be surprised how well she did. Within three months, she made Lieutenant Commander."
Kristine rose her eyes in great surprise, pride showing at the edge of her eyes. "My goodness!" she said, exasperated. "I had no idea she would do so well!"
"Not only that," Sarah continued. "When she was promoted, she also was given the position of Senior Ops Officer."
"Three months," Kristine said, her eyes taking on a distant look. A tear formed at the edge of her eyesight. "So proud " She wiped a tear from her eyes and smiled at Sarah. "You know, her and I were more like sisters."
"Shes spoken highly of you on occasion," Sarah commented in reply.
Kristine suddenly took on a sullen look. A deep well formed inside Sarahs heart as she knew what had suddenly entered Kristines mind.
"All of her ambition all of her talent ripped away like that," she quietly, slowly said. "She had so much potential so much to offer " She looked Sarah right in the eye. A sense of wisdom entered Sarah as she did so. "Did you know that she never dated a single man?"
Sarah felt her face take on a surprised look as she shook her head. "No, I didnt know that."
Kristine let out a small laugh and smiled. "I remember, she had this wild idea that there was this perfect person out there, who was meant for her "
Sarah lightly smiled and put a reassuring hand on Kristines shoulder. "She was right," Sarah said, looking deep into those wizened eyes. "For everyone, there is the one. I know because I found Chris."
Kristine stared into her eyes for a moment, then said, "Thank you."
"Id tell you more," Sarah said. She hesitated for a moment, then took a big breath. "But how would you like to find out for yourself what shes done? How would you like to stop her from dying?"
Sarah trusted Kristine. She saw how much she missed her cousin, how much she wanted her back.
Kristine frowned, the wrinkles in her face deepening more so than before. "What do you mean?"
Sarah brought her voice down to a near whisper. "If you could travel back in time and stop the Dragon from being destroyed would you?"
Kristine probably knew what Sarah was talking about right then and there as a look of realization came on to her face. She smiled, and nodded to Sarah. "Yes I would "
"Good," Sarah replied quietly. "Because I have a plan."
"And I think I already know what it is," a very familiar, yet older voice said. Sarah and Kristine suddenly spun to look toward the entrance of Sarahs private room in the clinic. Both Sarah and Kristine dropped their jaws at the sight of a legend
"Jean-Luc Picard!" Kristine said, happiness permeating her voice. "My dear friend, you look magnificent!"
Indeed he did look magnificent. In fact, he looked as old as he did when he had commanded the Enterprise.
"I told you it would work," he said, moving with an energy hed not had even when Sarah had seen him. In fact, the only thing different about him, except for the extra energy, was that he wasnt wearing a Starfleet uniform.
Then again, Sarah thought, looking at the leisure like uniform Kristine wore. The uniform in current Starfleet almost doesnt look like a uniform at all.
He embraced Kristine in a hardy hug, his smile somehow becoming larger and larger, despite the fact that it appeared it couldnt become wider than it already was. He then looked to Sarah. He shook his head as he stuck out his hand. "Commander Sarah Caft. Its good to see you again."
"You too, sir," Sarah replied, taking his hand.
"Frankly, Im not too sure I fully agree with your plan," he said, sitting on the bio bed next to her. "It goes against the temporal prime directive, and is against everything a Starfleet uniform is for."
"Im willing to risk that for my crew, and my husband," Sarah said, standing her ground.
Picard closed his eyes, no doubt remembering some of his times on the Enterprise. "I remember I would do the same for my crew did the same for my crew." He opened his eyes again. "I even disobeyed the Prime Directive myself to save my crew."
"So then you have no objections?" Sarah asked. "Because if you do, you are trying to stop me from doing something youve already done. Something I find, quite frankly sir "
Picard raised his hand to stop her mid-sentence. "I know what youre going to say, but it isnt needed."
"Then youre with us, Jean-Luc?" Kristine asked.
Picard nodded once. "Yes Chris wasnt just a very, very excellent officer in the short time he had served with me, we had become great friends. Just as you had, Sarah."
Sarah smiled and replied, "Thank you, sir. You have no idea "
"Stop calling me sir!" he said, frowning. "I told you that the last time we met, didnt I? Some forty odd years ago?"
Sarah smiled and nodded. "That you did, s erm Jean-Luc."
"Besides, I retired from Starfleet several years ago," he said, standing up.
"Which reminds me," Sarah said, frowning. He stopped and turned to face her. "How the hell can you look and act so young? You have to be in or close to your hundreds."
Picards smile broadened. "Lets just say early hundreds. But Ive spent a great deal of my retirement on Baku. I had to at first, to fight a disease that Starfleet Medical couldnt cure. Once it was cured by the regenerative properties of Baku, after some twenty years, I decided Id stay."
"So what brought you back to Earth?" Kristine asked.
"I heard that, one, they were about to revive Sarah here," he replied simply.
After he didnt continue, Sarah prompted, "And the second reason?"
He continued to pause for a moment, then said, "Because I had heard that they also had a prototype time travel device ready."
Sarahs smile widened considerably to the point where her face hurt. "Thank you " was all she could manage. Her heart welled with friendship, excitement and hope
"Chris once saved my life," Sarah said. "In fact, he had saved my life a few times. I think its time I return the favor."
"As do I," Picard added. "He saved my life as well as the Enterprise."
"He may not have saved my life," Kristine said. "But that still is one of my reasons. He sounds like a reasonable captain one whom shouldnt die "
"Well begin full planning and preparations once you are out of the clinic," Picard said, moving towards the exit. "Until then, good bye."
As he slipped out of her room, a frown came upon Sarahs face. "Since when did these blasted doors become so quiet?"
Kristine laughed and shook her head. "I cant remember, but its gotten me in trouble on more than one occasion." As she sighed and stood, she added, "You know maybe Ill retire to Baku myself."
Sarah laughed in reply. "I think I will too, though I dont plan on retiring anytime soon."
Kristine smiled and nodded. "See you soon."
"I still cant get used to the feel of the civilian clothing in this day and age," Sarah commented, itching her arms again. The patient clothing at the clinic was very comfortable, but the clothes she wore now were hot and itchy. And I used to complain about Starfleet clothing.
Kristine let out a light-hearted laugh and replied, "I was the same when they first introduced the material. But you get used to it after a while. Just wait till you get into a uniform, if ever. Theyre even worse!"
"I think Ill forgo the uniform then," Sarah replied, letting out her own small laugh. "Anyway, where are we heading?"
"To the areas orbital lift," Kristine replied.
"Where?" Sarah asked, confused. That was a term shed never heard before.
"Thats right, they didnt introduce the technology until about five years after the Dragon disappeared," Kristine replied, shaking her head. "The entire Earth was surrounded with a sort of net. In reality, its just a huge Starbase, but it surrounds the planet entirely. Instead of using transporters to get to it, there are orbital lifts all around the world, or giant public lifts, and small personnel-only lifts. Transporters on Earth are now just used for site-to-site transports or transporting to docked ships in emergencies."
Star Trek Dragon graphics and written
material copyright Jon Wasik. Star Trek is a registered